Q&A with Dalia Lasaite, CEO of CGTrader, on the benefits of Augmented Reality (AR) for e-Commerce

What are the current barriers for retailers to adopt AR for e-commerce?

There have been several barriers to Augmented Reality adoption among retailers. One of the major ones is the lack of internal resources to deploy and manage a vigorous AR e-Commerce program. This is especially true for small and medium size retailers that do not have defined 3D/AR role or department. The upfront investment required to convert 2D product photos to 3D models has also been a deterrent. Photo-shoots can be prohibitively expensive and 3D design studios typically cannot scale up to handle the volume of SKUs most retailers offer.

Also, only recently do both iOS and Android phones come equipped with native AR support, eliminating the need to develop AR eCommerce applications for mobile devices.


How do retailers benefit from incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) into their digital strategies?

Retailers incorporating AR online benefit in a number of different ways. The main advantage expected following adoption is an increase in sales conversion rate, with some retailers reporting e-Commerce sales increases of up to 11 times. Engagement on the website is also lengthened with one retailer recording an average time on site growing from 4 minutes to 15 minutes with AR.

An additional benefit is to reduce inventory cost and real-estate room space in stores as you can show your full portfolio online in AR, enabling consumers to experience the products in their real environment without the cost attached to it, as well as the mistake in decision – just imagine a consumer purchasing a sofa that does not fully fit either in size or style when delivered to their home.

What value does Augmented Reality provide to online customers?

Augmented Reality enables online customers to accurately visualize products in their natural environments prior to purchase with minimal effort. For larger items such as furniture, home décor, and electrical appliances, this immersive, interactive customer experience helps ensure customer satisfaction as shoppers can accurately evaluate size and color and see how the product will fit into the designated space. Some retailers are also incorporating AR in Omnichannel strategies, enabling customers to use tablets or AR glasses to view a full range of products and product variations in the store for an endless aisle experience.

What options are currently available that can fast-track the successful adoption of AR for retailers?

CGTrader ARsenal, introduced in May this year, is designed to enable retailers to easily and cost-effectively deploy, manage and finance Augmented Reality for eCommerce. It includes all solutions and services required to easily deploy AR for online stores, with photorealistic 3D modeling in any volume, complete mobile device compatibility, convenient payment plans without the need for large upfront investments, and an integrated 3D viewer.

Since the launch, CGTrader Arsenal has already been adopted by a number of retailers, including global indoor and outdoor lifestyle products provider, Fat Boy, and leading German furniture retailer, Garten und Freizeit. Both retailers are already benefiting from the rapid integration of AR within their online platforms and expect to witness tangible increases in customer engagement, sales conversion and reduced product returns in the coming months.

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